2 month old & 3 year old- it's not getting better!

(11 Posts)
quertas Thu 05-Sep-13 22:54:39

Looking for some advice here. DS is 11 weeks old now and we're still in survival mode. The main problems are that DS needs a lot of help to sleep- walking round in the pram, rocking, letting him suck my finger, feed to sleep, etc, which is utterly impossible to do with Dd (3 years) about. I cannot play with her and get him to sleep, and I cant play properly with her until he is asleep. Dd is bored and attention seeking and I have less attention to give her. The other problem is I can't seem to convince dd to leave DS alone. She's always shaking his arms or bouncing g him or being giddy with him (excessively affectionate not violent). I don't want to break her confidence or ruin her relationship with her brother but all I seem to say is 'gently, dd' or tell her not to touch him as he's just got to sleep. But i cant do nothing. Today for example the poor sod was woken out of every single nap he tried to take by her antics, and by 5pm was owl faced and moaning with tiredness. Anyone got any tips on how to deal with this. I kept hoping things would get better on their own but we're nowhere! I've had him in a sling now so much of the time that I've got a trapped nerve in my neck and I just can't do it anymore hmm

China4Jazz Thu 05-Sep-13 23:01:54

Oh I am sorry to hear this. It must be so stressful for you.
It's difficult when they are at such different ages.
Are you parents / In Laws not close so you can have individual time with either?
Or even a nursery so you can be with the baby?
I think you're doing well by gently telling your daughter as she is thinking how great it is to have a life doll. Maybe ask your daughter to help with things to make her feel useful.
I don't know what else to suggest; sorry!!

toobreathless Thu 05-Sep-13 23:37:51

I have DD1 2.4 and DD2 5 months plus a DH away for 6 months.

It IS hard but you will adjust. Will DS nap in a sling? A really good sling was a life saver when DD2 was tiny.

In terms of DD touching DS can you put him out of reach? Say in a pram for naps rather than bouncy chair. We have a rule, if baby in pram/bouncy chair- do not touch. Baby lying on floor on mat ok to touch etc would she like her own doll to dress/change/play with?

Our local children's centre has been a lifesaver, we go to two classes a week aimed at 0-5 so they can both legitimately be there!

I get out every morning to wear DD1 out, park/post box/duck feeding/classes/coffee with friends it keeps me sane and tires her out. Her behaviour rapidly deteriorated if home too long.

We do a lot of sensory type play, yes it takes longer to set up but I found DD1 will spend 20 mins max playing with a toy or over an hour painting tagliatelle or decanting frozen peas and sweet corn into different containers/cake cases etc.

Take all the help you can get! My inlaws will be visiting fairly soon and on my list of things to do is take DD1 to Starbucks for a hot choc. (& marshmellows) with her favourite books while baby stays with them & a bottle if expressed milk!

ThisIsMummyPig Thu 05-Sep-13 23:47:38

I had lots of issues with my DD1, but she was violent. The only real advice I have is to give your DD lots of attention, but have strict rules about not touching sleeping babies.

I actually put DD2 in a corner of a room in a moses basket, and then put the coffee table in front of the table, so DD1 had to climb over it to get there. It slowed her down enough for me to distract her.

No way could I have done painting though - there would have been paint everywhere.

Give your DD lots of positive praise, and make her know she's still special. It can be a big upheaval for a little soul.

Haddock73 Fri 06-Sep-13 06:13:39

No advice OP, just that I feel the same ds1 is 2 ds2 is 2 weeks, and ds2 needs a lot of help to sleep which means ds1 ends up. Very bored and frustrated. Ds1 is very handsy with ds2 as well and often wakes him up.

Worried reading your post that it doesn't get any better!

MrsJamin Fri 06-Sep-13 06:37:01

OP, is your dd going to nursery/Playgroup now she is 3? Don't be afraid to use your free 15 hours as it will really help to give her the time to play and you the time to settle your little one into at least one uninterrupted sleep.

pongping Fri 06-Sep-13 07:01:21

My DS1 is 2.10 and my DS2 is six months. I promise it does get better - 11 weeks is still tiny.

I have completely given up trying to put DS2 down for a nap at home unless there is another adult there, or if desperate, DS1 is strapped in the high chair (DS2's high chair, I should add grin) and watching something amusing.

Basically I try to get out of the house as much as possible and let DS2 nap in the sling (would be pushchair but he's not keen on that yet, so sling it is). Doing this allows DS2 to get the daytime sleep he needs, and stops DS1 getting bored, destructive and jealous. We basically live in the children's centre, soft play and train station grin.

Bedtime is another flashpoint as DS2 wants to feed to sleep but DS1 also needs attention and has in the past woken his baby brother over and over. If I try to put DS2 down first then DS1, DS2 often wakes crying and mucks the whole thing up so I've put a lot of effort into giving them the same bedtime routine and having them both ready to sleep at the same time. We've moved DS1 into the spare bedroom's double bed so I can lie down with them both, feed DS2 to sleep and then transfer him once they've both gone off. It's bloody complicated but sanity saving as I do bedtimes alone about 4x a week.

DS1 went through stages of ignoring the baby, then being angry with him (biting etc), then trying to get a rise out of me by scratching hmm but we have really turned a corner recently now that DS2 is in his highchair so they eat together, and they've also started taking a bath together. First time they shared a bath DS1 looked unbelievably chuffed smile.

quertas Fri 06-Sep-13 08:31:53

Thanks everyone! I'm heartened that it does get better! The sling was def working but I can't use it at the moment as I've got some kind of trapped nerve in my shoulder. I'm off for physio next week so hopefully they can give me a better sense of what I can and cant do with the sling- if it's avoid altogether ill be teari g my hair out for sure as the baby hates being horizontal and awake!! DD is in nursery for the 15 hours now so this should given DS a break at least. I just don't want to be always 'no, dd, gerroff!' With her. She's made up to be a big sister and loves him with a passion it's just that she's very 'full on'. Barricading him in a corner is a great idea mummy pig, at least it'd give me time to stop her before she's got her fingers in his ears! Ping pong, I have the same flashpoint, bedtime, and I'm beginning to dread them. Dd needs the whole bath, story, drink, toy, song, different toy, another drink, ok-now-you're-faffing-go-to-sleep-dd-pleeeeeeeease routine and DS needs a quiet space, a boob and a swaddle at the same moment and I just end up disappointing dd and distressing DS. DH works 40 miles away and we have no relatives here to help out so I'm going a bit spare! Aargh! Ok, just venting now, sorry! Anyway great ideas here, thanks everyone!

MrsJamin Sat 07-Sep-13 06:53:30

If you have back pain from wearing your sling perhaps it isn't the right make for you? If there is a sling group near you you could try different ones on to see if they are more comfortable. Ds2 lived in my Kari me wrap sling, I loved it. Yes to going out a lot. And try and simplify meals- ds1 and I ate quite a few from-freezer-to-oven meals like pizza or pie and chips- it didn't kill him! It will get better!

I'm not sure how much practical advice I can give because it already seems like a blur but just wanted to say I was in EXACTLY the same boat a few months ago and although things aren't always easy now they are so so much better. DD dropped to 2 naps at 7 month's, she's now 10 months and has 30 mins in the pushchair on the way to somewhere each morning and 1-2 hours when DS does after lunch. it WILL get easier but IME it happens so gradually you don't even notice

quick tips
- organise everything you need for the day the night before
- get out of the house as early as possible in the day before everyone goes mad (some people find it less stressful at home but because like you my baby would only sleep on me and my toddler kept waking her up I found it so stressful) - walking means the toddler feels like they're on an adventure with mum and baby gets a well-needed nap
- if you don't have one already I've found an approximate routine to be a lifesaver, I also use a visual chart so DS feels in charge of his own day
- don't sweat the small stuff, so if the older one won't get dressed, take them out in pyjamas with their clothes in your bag for when they change their mind. similarly if your house is a mess and dinners aren't all healthy and homemade it's not the end of the world.

finally you say you're just surviving day-to-day but I think that's all you need to do in the first few months, so long as you're all warm, fed and sleeping at some point it's a good day. I would suggest focusing on the babies basic needs in the first 6 months while doing everything possible to keep the toddler happy - because they're the one who often dictates how the rest of the family feels grin

best of luck, like I say things really do get better, it might just take a while wink

quertas Mon 09-Sep-13 17:51:23

Thanks nicecup and mrs jammin,

We're having good and bad days here. Yesterday was awful, everyone in tears at some point or another but today's been a bit better. I just wish I could live my day with one them, then rewind and do it again with the other, I'm so torn between their needs. Sling library's a good idea, mrs jammin, ill look for one. Nicecup, I've got high hopes that a new pram might help us get a pushchair nap, like you describe. We stupidly bought one DS can't see out of and so has to be asleep before he'll happily go into it which has NOT helped hmm

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